A man police said carried out a string of robberies while wearing panty hose over his face has been ordered to begin serving a 10-year prison sentence.
Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern rejected a plea by Thomas Eugene Trotman, 45, that he be released to the Transformation Project instead.
Judge Stern said, "The last time you were in front of me you told me I would never see you again. I'm very sad to say I don't think you will ever be able to control (your reliance on drugs)."
Trotman had been charged with seven counts of robbery, seven counts of theft under $500, one count of aggravated burglary, one count of theft over $1,000, and one count of vandalism.
Lee Atkins, recently retired city police sergeant, said he had known Trotman for 15 years and had him doing carpentry work at his home. "He's a master carpenter who will do anything for you when he's not on drugs," he said.
Trotman made a long statement to the judge in which he said, "Tommy Trotman is not a criminal." He said he wanted to contact each of his robbery victims personally and say he is sorry.
He said he wanted out of jail, saying, "Just a year there is punishment for anything you could do here on earth."
Prosecutor Brian Finlay said Trotman has continually committed crimes since he was arrested for burglary at age 15. Trotman said he skipped school that day and got drunk in some woods, but did not take part in the burglary.
Blake Murchison of the public defender's office said Trotman had not used a weapon in the hold-ups.
The following cases were cleared due to his arrest:
08-13-2011 / Baskin Robbins / 4795 Hwy 58 / 11-77017 / Robbery
08-20-2011 / Gi Gi’s Cupcake / 1906 Gunbarrel Rd / 11-9605 / Robbery
08-21-2011 / Little Caesars / 7601 E. Brainerd Rd. / 11-79941 / Robbery
08-22-2011 / Mr. Zip / 1905 Gunbarrel Rd. / 11-80029 / Robbery
08-22-2011 / Electric Tan / 7550 E. Brainerd Rd. / 11-80116 / Robbery
08-22-2011 / Little Caesars / 9271 Lee Hwy / 11-80232 / Robbery
11-08-2011 / Kangaroo Express / 4900 Brainerd Rd. / 11-107109 / Robbery
01-18-2012 / 7512 Austin Dr. / 12-5770 / Aggravated Burglary